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Name of Organization/Company: IBM, Armonk, NY USA
Category: Employee Relations Team of the Year

Entry Title: Engaging and Supporting Parents at IBM


IBM has a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, in line with this 8 Social and Diversity teams were launched by the site Employee Relation team to help to improve employee engagement of the Hungarian IBM Shared Service Center (ISSC).

The ISSC Parents Club played a huge role in improving employee satisfaction and in affirming that IBM is a family friendly workplace by providing a large scale of diverse activities to support the increasing number of parents and parents-to-be. Team members are committed to support the company’s engagement activities on voluntary basis.

The yearly plan is put together base on team brainstorming which is presented to the Leadership board to get their support. Follow up activities discussed on bi-weekly meetings and all events are tracked and communicated on the dedicated Parents Club Publisher site. We are managing a private Facebook group as well for parents of IBM where useful articles, interviews and materials are shared on parenting.

2020 was an unusual year for families as well as in the life of our company. During these times it was more important than ever to the leadership team to keep employees and their families safe, all decisions have been aligned to that principle since the pandemic started.

Parents Club needed to adapt to the changed situation quickly and re-plan the already approved and kicked-off plans due to the pandemic outbreak. In previous years all events were organized as face-to-face and feasible ways needed to be found to bring our programs to virtual environment.

Parents Club played a huge role in keeping our employees engaged and motivated through their on-line programs which were enabling parents and families to have a more mindful and stress-free life during 2020, along with the following achievements:

• 15 events organized in 2020
• 1,257 individuals participated on the events in 2020 (+170 compared to 2019)
• Company level ‘engagement index’: +2.8 (compared to 2019)
• Company level ‘advocacy index’ +5.3 (compared to 2019)
• Attrition rate in 2020: -8% (compared to 2019)
• Awards 2020: Family-Friendly Workplace Award, Randstad Most Attractive SSC Employer, Most Attractive Employer (3rd)

The Team worked very hard to find ways to entertain kids as well and organize events in the virtual world which were interesting to them as well.

In February 2020, Parents Club kicked-off a special project, with a primary goal to help mothers to return to work. A little bit of background on why we think it is a big achievement locally. As opposed to many other countries in Hungary mothers do have the possibility to stay longer at home with their kids after giving birth. Which is a very lucky situation on one hand but also means that mothers can get detached from work life for 3 years or even more. Due this fact supporting them during their maternity leave and helping their reintegration was a very important goal for us.

When talking about parents usually we think of mothers though fathers have an important role as well in the life of families. Fathers Club was formed as well in 2020 and they have created their dedicated support channel where they have the possibility to discuss their parenting problems. Monthly roundtables were scheduled by them with their dedicated mentor psychologist from Hungarian Fathers’ Academy. They organized their first Fathers’ Day photo competition as well, sharing pictures of special moments with their kids.

Despite of the hardships of 2020 we could move our events and programs to the online world and were able retain and even exceed in some of the cases our previous year results. IBM Parents Club considerably contributed to our company’s fantastic engagement results. In addition, our efforts were recognized by external awards as well.

We managed to continue our good habit started in the last couple of years and organized several professional lectures with well-known local speakers on topics including psychology, mental & physical health, and work-life balance.

Summary of Parents Club’s initiatives and programs in 2020

• Sessions with local famous speakers & IBM colleagues:
Limpár Imre: Midlife crisis
József Végh: Home office challenges
Eszter Mengyán: Green fashion
Fülöp Hajnalka: How to be digitally conscious parents

• ‘Maternity Experience’ Project: (February 2020)
Actions accomplished:
-Dedicated HR colleague for maternity leavers
-Monthly Newsletter: Replays of informative sessions, list of open positions, HR information, online IBM training material.
-Extra training for HR generalists and recruitment team how to support mothers to return to work
-Providing useful information to mothers before starting their maternity leave
-Quarterly Stay-Connected virtual events for maternity leavers, where company related news, HR /Recruitment information and parenting related topics are shared.

• Kids Summer Camp: during summer vacation in cooperation with Logiscool, a local company, where kids could learn coding for a week.

• Drawing competition with the topic: ‘The family is together’, from the received pictures a beautiful 2021 calendar was created and shared with the parents.

• Fathers-Child photo competition: capturing the special bond between father and child.

• Santa event: Virtual Santa event was organized on two consequent days with special guests: a kid song singer and a magician.

• “Survivor Kit for Parents” Useful hints & tips were put together to help parents to survive lock down period.

Parents Club: https://vo-general.s3.amazonaws.com/a1ab4161-9c30-4e28-88fc-d6ad384e3fe2/77a720e1-255c-433d-8111-1ddccaec62ac?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ4PRWO26HAX3IOCA&Expires=1720392462&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D%22Parents%20Club_Add_Images.pdf%22&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf&Signature=YJv10TwDh6Obj4aKSVoFusKdnvM%3D